Big Vs. Little

Notes on Creativity theme of the week:
Making Sense 

 

We live in a complex world with a lot going on. It takes creative thinking to be able to synthesize all that is happening around us in order to make sense of it all.

I’ve noticed a theme repeating itself in several directions I’ve turned lately. It’s the concept of Big vs. Little, David and Goliath, the structural machine vs. the individual.

It popped up in an editorial I read recently about the Wikileaks scandal. The editor remarked that the Big powers that be have been making clandestine decisions behind closed doors while maintaining a completely different public face. Wikileaks is about the Little guys taking back some power from the Big guys and making it known that Little will no longer be pushed around and is now a force to be reckoned with.

This same theme is showing itself in the competition between Apps- big companies limiting options, and the world-wide web- a truly democratic shmorgishborg where Little can participate on equal ground with Big.

It is interesting that Big vs. Little can also unfold when Little tries to act Big.  Whenever little people decide that they are bigger than the rest, they destroy any hope of true togetherness.

What is it about human nature that compels us to put ourselves above others, to grab for more power than we need? It is a futile quest we must relinquish, humbly acknowledging that we are really all only Little. And there is honor in that.   

 Image source

_______________________________________

 

Today’s 4 Minute Writer  

Stealing a Moment

I’m staring out the window watching the clouds. They hang, suspended in the expanse of blue extending endlessly. The world falls silent, I float. The air is still. Time stops. 

A deep breath. 

And then, the clouds start to move and I must return to the dishes I was washing, letting the clouds pass by.     

Image source

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13 Comments

Filed under Creativity, Writing

13 responses to “Big Vs. Little

  1. I truly do not understand the seemingly insatiable grab for power by some – observing the likes of the media barons in our country, people like Facebook’s Zuckerberg and his arch enemies the ‘Winkelvii’ and their need to make more and more money, one can only assume it’s not about the money, but about power and to what end? It’s really beyond me. The whole WikiLeaks thing is so fascinating because it’s really turning some very conventional powerplays upside down. Interesting post as always, Zoë.

    • When you play in Big leagues, the frame of reference is completely different. It’s like one baseball player whining that he ‘only’ makes $8 million because his team mate makes $11 million a year. I agree- at that point it’s not about the money but about how ‘important’ you are in relation to the next guy in your circle- or the world. It’s a loss of perspective. I can see that it would be hard to let go of that thinking if ‘everyone’ around you judges you by that yardstick. Some ‘sell their souls’ in order to be the most important. Not worth it!
      Yes- with the WikiLeaks I think the most astounding thing is that a Little was able to ‘leak’ information that Big didn’t want out there- and Big was unable to stop Little. Wow!
      Thanks for your insights.

  2. I know this post is about so much more than Wikileaks, but unfotunately that is what popped out at me first. The whole thing has bothered me terribly, because I have never felt that two wrongs make a right! The editorial you read said, “the Big powers that be have been making clandestine decisions behind closed doors while maintaining a completely different public face. Wikileaks is about the Little guys taking back some power from the Big guys and making it known that Little will no longer be pushed around and is now a force to be reckoned with.

    It seems to me the “Little” guys, are trying to become “Big” guys. Which would create then a never ending circle (redundant, I know) of the new “Big,” going after the new “Little,” and on and on. If w don’t as you say, start learning from human history, then all hope of any meaningful dialogue between the parties is lost. And, you are right, no one is really “Big.” It’s just that for far too long it has been assumed that having money automatically made one “Big,” and having little or none, conferred “Little” status upon the other.

    “Where HAVE all the flowers gone?. . .Long time passing. . .” I am so grateful that it is not up to me to make sense of the entire world, but only to try and create understanding and bring perhaps some healing to my corner of it. It’s a small corner, granted, but the entire world is nothing but a huge conglomeration of small corners, and the world is languishing, hoping that the occupants of each will pick up a broom and get busy.

    • Oh we could get into a great lively debate- what blogs are for! I wonder if I understood your last paragraph correctly- that we should each bring healing and understanding to our own corner of the world and if each of us did this we’d be on the right track.
      If so, I would have to counter saying that this is only the start. If we each only bothered with our own little corner- oh my! Then no one would do anything in a situation like World War II, Rwanda, etc. In fact, there are so many atrocities going on in the world right now that we are turning a blind eye to. Granted, we cannot be responsible for the whole world, or for even making sense of it. I think that each of us does need to take care of our own corner, as you say, but we also each need to extend our own personal borders to care about a completely different corner of the world too. There are some corners that aren’t doing so well, and if ours is doing pretty well, don’t we have a responsibility to help heal another corner?
      I know you feel this way too from your posts showing your correspondence with Jess. Just thought it was imporant to bring into this conversation too.

      • I absolutely agree with your “counter” comment! I did not express myself at all in the way I intended, so I’m so glad you called me on it! By “my corner,” I was really wanting to convey “my own life.” That’s not really precise either. In each individual life there is responsibility for our neighbors. ” Our neighbors” in the global sense, as Christ meant it. If EACH individual stepped out with purpose, to address and fulfill the needs of humanity: politically, physically, spiritually – wherever they are – then we really would be on our way to a better world. I feel we all – and I mean all – have that responsibility – to use all within our individual and varied abundance to serve the needs of others that are within our power to serve . Rwanda and the Sudan are only a sampling of our neighbors. Each of us has different gifts and abilities to serve others, but we ALL have them. We all need to pick up our brooms and get to work! My corner is not a geographic designation, but I was trying to convey the idea of each of us bearing the load – and not abrogating our individual responsibilities to the most overworked person in the world: “Somebody Else.”

        Somebody Else has been in the ICU for a long time, and when s/he dies, who will be doing the jobs we should have been doing all along, but foisted on her/him? If we insist on letting governments and institutions (including the institutional church) do the job for us without any active participation on our part, then the world has no chance.

        It’s hard not to be depressed about the enormity of the task, but getting busy helps keep that depression at bay.

        Something tells me I haven’t expressed myself very well this time either. . .oh well. I guess I’ll have to get busy myself! 😀

      • Love it! Thanks for your words. Very well put: “If EACH individual stepped out with purpose, to address and fulfill the needs of humanity: politically, physically, spiritually – wherever they are – then we really would be on our way to a better world. I feel we all – and I mean all – have that responsibility – to use all within our individual and varied abundance to serve the needs of others that are within our power to serve.”
        We can’t do everything, but we can each do something. In this day and age, the power of the individual is magnified for doing good, not just for doing harm.
        Love the way you spoke about Somebody Else too. We are each somebody else’s Somebody Else 🙂

  3. I like the principle you set forth, that all of us are really little, if we only knew it. Life has a way of role reversing, when appropriate, to show us what life is all about.

    Wikileaks leaves me feeling cold with no appreciation for either side of the story. I never appreciated the concept of Robin Hood, who robbed the rich to give to the poor. Like Paula says, two wrongs do not make a right.

    “Stealing a Moment” is beautiful, Zoe. It demonstrates how we are both little and big; little enough to be awed by the beauty of the clouds in the sky and big enough that we may grab the moment to enjoy without money and without permission.

    Great post contrasting big and little. I LOVE the photo! Blessings to you…

    • Thanks for the great thoughts to continue the exploration.
      Wikileaks did originally expose some terrible human rights violations and received rewards for their work. They have since changed their tactics and are now threatening to release information that will collapse banks. Some of what they have released has put people in danger, like some Afghani civilians. It appears something changed along the way.

  4. I think that Wikileaks is a step in the right direction . . .

    Full disclosure about the secret deals our representatives in Washington make with the powers that be in BIG business would be a small step for the little guy . . . and a giant leap for mankind.

    I’m not convinced that the “little” guys are trying to become “big” guys . . . they’re just interested in letting the rest of us see the truth behind the masks adorned by those who are supposed to be representing our interests while all the while lining their own pockets.

    Love the graphic . . . GREAT DANES are BIG- hearted animals.

    BIG hearted is the best “BIG” to be.

    • Exposing corruption is a good thing. If it remains covered, nothing can be done to stop it. Some ‘leaks’ are worth getting out there.
      It appears that there is a whole philosophy underpinning the leaks that has to do with rearranging the whole order of things. Pretty high and lofty goals.

  5. Fabulous post. Psychologists say it is low self esteem which causes one human being to feel the need to elevate him or herself above others. That theory works in microcosm: I work with some horrid people but I can see clearly they are horrid because they have unresolved issues and feel small. I teach my kids at school that every comment should build up, not knock down, and that comments designed to drag others beneath us show us up as needing to bolster a small self esteem.

    I wonder if it works in macrocosm?

    • Great comment, Kate.

      Whether it’s High Self Esteem (and disregard for the feelings of others) or Low Self Esteem (and the “need” to bolster oneself up) . . . it’s definitely Ego calling the shots . . . while Spirit waits patiently in the wings. 🙂

    • Macrocosm is made up of microcosms- so I’d agree, personal lack ripples its effects through myriads of people when the person with the lack is part of the Big…
      Sounds like a tough situation you’ve got there with some colleagues. Being able to step outside ot the situation and not take what they do personally is such a phenomenal skill.

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